12 Steps to a happier life

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In my pursuit of happiness I’ve realized that it doesn’t necessarily require huge life changes, but instead can be achieved by small changes and new habits. The following are just some of the things I’ve tried to implement in my life in an effort to increase my level of happiness. I hope some of them will speak to you in a way that inspires your own happiness journey!

  1. Take technology breaks. We are a society of device addicts, and I am definitely not immune to the infliction, but I do believe we could stand a break. For some that might mean shutting your phone off when you get home from work, putting devices away while you have a family meal and connect with the kids, or maybe banning devices a few hours before bed and reading a book instead. For others it could mean a social media fast for a day, a weekend, a week… maybe a month? There is no right or wrong, just whatever feels right for you!
  2. Make a conscious effort to connect with others. And no I don’t mean on social media! Don’t get me wrong, that certainly has it’s benefits too, but what I’m really talking about is face to face interactions. Join a club or a sports team, take a fitness class or take a class doing something creative! Open yourself up to others with similar interests to you and you could find yourself making some new friends, something we can find more difficult to do as adults.
  3. Disconnect from toxic people and relationships. This one can be a tough one, but it’s imperative to preserve your own happiness and mental health. Sometimes this can even mean distancing yourself from a family member, and that’s ok too. Don’t feel guilty about protecting yourself from toxic people, no matter their relationship to you, caring for your mental health is far too important.
  4. Listen to music! Create playlists of your favorite songs. I have a habit of discovering a new song and blasting it on repeat while I drive, clean or just dance. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, enjoy it!
  5. Stop exposing yourself to negative media. Take for example today’s obsession with “reality tv”, is it just me or do these seem like the furthest thing from reality? At the very least not a reality I want to live in where everyone is fighting, criticizing and belittling each other. Although there is sure to be exceptions to the rule, it seems that reality tv glorifies the lowest of human behaviours and accentuates the disconnect in our society. Unfollow those who constantly post negative messages and false news, you don’t need that in your life.  Why not find some positive social media influences and follow them instead, there are plenty of people who are on the same journey of self discovery as you. 
  6. Stop glorifying busyness. Our culture is infamous for this, and unfortunately even more so as women. In our society we tend to measure our self worth by how busy we are and how stressful our schedules have become. I don’t know about you but this is how I have lived for years and I am exhausted. Let’s stop glorifying busyness and slow down a little.  Stop overscheduling our children, stop saying yes to every bloody thing you are asked to do, and start making down time a priority in your life. 
  7. Feel all of your feelings, every last one of them. Acknowledge that it is not possible to feel constantly happy. Relationships can be difficult, work can be stressful, life is and ebb and flow of emotions and experiences and that is ok.  It’s ok to be sad sometimes, to be angry, to feel down. Acknowledge those feelings, feel them, work through them and then let them go. Remember that without the darkness we would never appreciate the light.
  8. Have fun! Be silly and incorporate some kind of play into every day. You can play with your kids or your pets, take a fun class, or put on your favorite playlist and just dance! So many of us stop playing when we grow up, isn’t that sad? Not everything needs to be so serious, just lighten up! 
  9. Laugh!! Nothing perks up your mood like a good belly laugh. Put on a funny movie, watch some funny you tube clips, read a funny book or reminisce about funny experiences in your own life. Whatever tickles your funny bone make sure you’re laughing every day… this is a big one!
  10. Enjoy nature. I know, I know… it’s Canada and winter makes this one difficult. In those cold months try to get out as much as you can, at the very least crack the windows for a few minutes to let in some fresh air. And once the snow melts get out there and enjoy it all! Get your bare feet on the grass, in the dirt or, my personal favorite, on that glorious sandy beach! Sit quietly and observe the animals around us, they are the ultimate inspiration to live a simple life. Go for a walk in the park and listen to the sounds of nature, take a bike ride, dig in your garden or flower beds. Just get out there in whatever way speaks to you.
  11. Be kind to yourself. Stop the constant self criticism and instead try complimenting yourself. Stop comparing yourself to unrealistic social media images… the majority of us don’t really look like that. And remember that nobody’s life is as perfect as what we see posted online. We all really just want to be loved and accepted, and that begins with love and acceptance of ourselves and who we are right now.
  12. Consider ways to simplify your life. Minimalism is not just about decluttering your home and reducing your purchases, although this is a big part of it. Minimalism is ultimately about stripping away the excess of everything that does not bring value to your life including possessions, relationships, activities and beliefs. As you rid your life of the unnecessary, you will have so much more time and energy to give to your priorities in life and can finally find the kind of balance we all crave. And isn’t that what finding happiness is all about… devoting our lives to what matters and stripping away the rest?

These are some of the ideals I am working hard to implement into my own life. It isn’t always easy and I’m not always successful. Some days I feel down and I just have to sit with it until I find the energy to get back on track, and that’s ok. Just commit to implementing some of these ideas into your life and see where it takes you, make your happiness a priority.

 
 

Seeking more happiness in your life? Check out our mindful programming.

 

 

 

MAKERS MONDAY: Clover & Tine by Jessica Klaassen

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Hello! My name is Jessica and I am the creator of Clover & Tine jewelry. I am a mama to three little kids and a wife to my husband, Jared. I've always enjoyed being active and spending time outdoors. When I started dating Jared he introduced me to "shed hunting." Essentially shed hunting is searching for antlers that have dropped. Bucks shed their antlers each spring and grow a new set by fall. We enjoy hiking through the river hills near our home in search of these antlers. My business was born after seeing a picture of an antler tip necklace on Instagram and thinking, I could totally make that! After persuading my husband to let me use some of his antlers I starting designing and creating!

I create beautiful jewelry made with deer antlers. All of the antlers used in my creations have been naturally shed (dropped), so no animals were hurt in the process. No two antlers are the same, so each piece is unique. The antlers I use have been picked up from members of my family (most likely my husband). Our whole family enjoys the adventure of shed hunting though, even the little ones join in on the fun. Recently I added a Mica necklace to my shop as well. Mica rock is a raw beauty that is found in the river hills where we hike.

Why do you create?
I think I've always enjoyed creating things. It's fun dreaming something up and then seeing it through!

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?
Since starting I have become more confident in my ability to design and create jewelry. I have had to try and fail a number of times in order to figure out what works well for me.

What is the most rewarding part of creating? 
I enjoy seeing other people excited about my creations and that inspires me to keep on creating.

CREATE your own question & answer: 
What are some of the challenges you face as a creator?
As a mom of three little ones it can be hard to find the time and energy to play around with different designs and keep the creative juices flowing.



RED FOX CREATIVE STUDIO is passionate about promoting local makers. Want to be featured? Click here for the submission form.

FACILITATOR FRIDAY: DeLee Grant

Name: DeLee Grant

Business Name: DeLee Grant “ARTOGRAPHY”

What medium do you work in? Acrylic, Oil and Fine Art Photography

What do you make? Paintings and photographic prints

What compels you to create? I create art because it has always given me joy. Even as a child in elementary school, I could not wait for “art class”. In later years, it became a form of meditation.

How did you start creating? I was fortunate to have a mother who was an artist, so I was exposed to the joys of creating at a very early age. I have two siblings but I was the only one that acquired this passion to “create”.

Where is your studio is located ? I have to biggest studio in the world - the great outdoors. During winters and in climate weather, particularly in Saskatchewan, I am driven indoors to my studio which is a double car garage. I convinced my husband, the cars had to find a new location.

Why do you create? It is just something in me, something I am driven to do.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?: Actually I have two favourite tools. My plein air easel and my palette knife. I love wielding my palette knife. I have one favourite one I always reach for when I get the notion to slap some paint around.

What is unique about your art practice? I have travelled to several parts of the world to create scenes in “plein Air”. As well, I have taken numerous workshop from “plein air” instructors to learn tips and techniques.

Number of years you have been a crafter or artist: 25+

Describe your work with a movie title: THE SOUND OF MUSIC or DANCES WITH WOLVES

Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the studio speakers?
Gasp NO

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently? Last week I was filtering through old clothes and realized that I may have a problem!!! I’ve saved a “onesie” purchased at the ARMY AND NAVY 38 years ago and realized this could be considered as “hoarding”. I’ve convinced myself I’m just “sentimental” and this is NOT actually hoarding.

Favorite season and why? Without a doubt - SPRING

Favorite place? Cypress Hills and Waterton National Park

What is your idea of time well spent ? Exploring various hiking trails wherever we travel (locally and internationally)

Quirky fact... I rode a camel for 2 days across the Wadi Rum Dessert in Jordan and drank freshly gathered unpasteurized camel milk with the Bedouins.

Photos!
 www.deleegrant.com
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MAKERS MONDAY: Saltine Baking Company by Ashley Schmalenberg

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Saltine Baking Company is a Regina based micro-bakery with a focus on producing naturally leavened sourdough breads and savoury pastries. Owned and operated by founder Ashley Schmalenberg, Saltine has been supplying the Regina community with organic breads and pastries since the Spring of 2014. 

Though we have no permanent storefront currently, all of our bread is mixed & baked within the local food hub Best Food Forward. Currently we bake every Saturday through January & February for the Food Hub Market and each Saturday during the Regina Farmers Market season, March through December. You can also currently receive our bread through our Breadshare program which is a subscription based monthly menu with biweekly pickups.

Our line of products is ever-changing but our focus is always the same, supplying our community with high quality organic sourdough breads and pastries. All of our products are made using local organic flours from Saskatchewan producers R&J Milling and Daybreak Mills & are mixed by hand in small batches. 

Our breads are 100% naturally leavened, which means they contain no commercial yeast. They rise using our 5 year old sourdough starter, which we fermented ourselves before beginning our business! Though it can be long, we take great pride in our baking process which can run from 24-36 hours start to finish. We believe that good things take time.

We also are proud to say that we produce many individual bread & pastry components by hand, such as pickles, preserves & cheeses. Not only do we take great joy in doing this, it allows us to know exactly what we are giving to our customers.

Why do you create?
Our passion for good, flavourful food and bread runs deep. The joy of breaking bread & sharing a meal is something that brings us all together and always has. It is not always an easy journey - working through the night, running markets on little to no sleep & stamping hundreds of bread bags each week (as many market vendors know!). Yet our community continues to support us and to remind us of why we do what we do. Seeing the smiling, familiar faces & hearing how much customers enjoy our baking is the reason we keep on moving. The support we’ve received over the past four years, and this past year especially has been overwhelming to say the least & we are so humbled by it. It gives us the drive to keep pushing & dreaming for a permanent home someday!

How has your art practice evolved since you first started? 
Our microbakery has been running for four years now and things have certainly changed! When we began we used to rent Fourth and James Bakery out in Lumsden. This meant running from my restaurant job out to Lumsden, baking overnight, driving home, hauling everything up to my third floor apartment for a few hours of sleep before hauling it back down & to the Farmers Market. Once winter hit & highway driving through the night was no longer a viable option, we began sharing the Food Bank kitchen for a few months with our friends at Local and Fresh, before eventually it baking for nearly a year from home. In 2016 we had outgrown our home kitchen substantially and headed to our current space at Best Food Forward. It’s not easy being a moving kitchen! Each step of the way is a learning process for us, and we truly believe it helps us grow as entrepreneurs for our eventual shift to our own space.

What does creative joy mean to you?
Creative joy is something we think about often. It is so easy once you transition your passion into your life’s work to get lost in the day to day stressors and forget why you’re here. Running a creative driven business is not always doing the job your passionate about, as any entrepreneur can tell you! Personally, I believe it’s about finding those little moments of light that remind you why you started in the first place. For me it’s a perfectly fermented starter, a loaf of bread that blooms beautifully in the oven or a croissant dough that was laminated just right. All of these snippets lead to my sense of accomplishment after the marathon that is prepping, mixing, shaping, baking and packaging for Market. Never mind the fact that I get to send out a few hundred loaves of bread each week to the people of Regina to share with their family and friends. This alone brings me creative joy each week. That, plus the smell of bread fresh from the oven is satisfying each and every time!

PLACES YOU CAN FIND SALTINE BAKING COMPANY


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RED FOX CREATIVE STUDIO is a creativity & wellness centre located in Regina, SK.

Embrace the Shake

If you've met me, then you might already know that I have an essential tremor. Something you might not know is that I inherited this from my father's side of the family. My grandmother has a pronounced shake. I had a 50% chance of receiving this very unique DNA flaw. I was the lucky one. My brother appears to have come through unscathed, although time will tell.

I will not lie to you and say that I am ok with this turn of events. Some days I shrug and think "whatever!" and some days I throw myself a pity party. No matter how I feel on any given day I am living with a shake. 

The shake shows up in my hands (mostly the left hand) and my head. My head is most often what people notice. It shakes back and forth like I am saying NO. There is a "Yes" shake option but I received the negative one. Sorry for those who think I am disagreeing with everything, I am really quite agreeable.

I was diagnosed with essential tremors just before turning forty (along with declining close up vision and some gravity induced flaws, I don't care to mention).
The shake is not Parkinsons, the neurologist said to me.
Thank goodness, I said, Will it get worse?
I don't know, it might stabilize at any point or it might get worse, he said.

I was aghast. I am an artist and photographer. I work with my hands. I quickly went through the shocked "WTF. Seriously!" stage and moved into the Pity Party stage "Of course this happened to me". Then moved into the next phase mild acceptance, the intermittent shaking wasn't too bad and maybe, just maybe it wouldn't get worse. 

It became my dirty little secret. Why I thought I could keep it a secret is beyond me. Remember... I had grown up with someone who has a tremor. My paternal grandmother has had her tremor for as long as I can remember. She has always shaken quite vigorously with a negative shake in her head and a pronounced voice tremor. My friends would ask me "Why does she do that?" I would always answer "I dunno, she just always has". I never thought to ask because it was just normal. Part of who Grandma is. I never questioned the tremor.  

But now I was. Dang it! I read everything I could get my hands on. Not much there. Drugs, surgery. One bright point is that I could  have botox shots to look forward to. (Maybe I can get some botox for the gravity induced changes). Anyway, at this stage, I was quite upset and quite frankly things felt a bit hopeless. At this point, this could have gone many different ways. I could become a hermit. I could quit art and photography. I could re-train for some 'normal' job. But, creating art isn't just my passion, it's my life. I have been an artist my whole life. How can I just turn into something, someone else? 

Creativity is why I get up in the morning. It makes me happy. I will not give it up. I will figure out how to work with my shake.

Two things about me: I have a shake and I am really quite stubborn. I am going to keep creating art as long as I can.  My shake is getting worse but I am going to embrace the shake.

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The shake won't stop Kristin from creating art. Read more about KRISTIN HERE.

See the classes & workshops Kristin teaches at RED FOX.

MAKERS MONDAY: Flora Plant Co. by Zoe Hanson

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Growing up in Regina, I have always loved working and supporting local. With a free spirited personality, I've always aspired to be my own boss, and collaborate with artists and other entrepreneurs. Combining that with my love of plants, I've found the perfect balance.

My main focus right now is creating terrariums that feature beautiful plants. Using different decorative materials including, but not limited to, sand, rock, slate, shells, and moss. My art is unique from others because no terrarium is the same. Being inspired by different plants, it gives me the creative ability to make unique work.

Why do you create?
Working with terrariums began as a creative outlet, and transformed into a life passion. Teaching people and seeing their personalized finished products inspires me to continue creating my own.

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?
Starting out working with potting and gardening in my own home, then becoming comfortable working with different types of plants and not being afraid of experiment with varieties. Now, I plant terrariums with no fear that they will die, because I have the knowledge and experience to care for them and let them thrive.



Want to be featured on our next MAKERS MONDAY?? Click to submit.

RED FOX CREATIVE STUDIO is a creativity & wellness centre located in Regina, SK.

MAKERS MONDAY: Möbius Threads by Jaylene Andres

I am a wife and mother of 2 from small town Saskatchewan. Back in high school I learnt to sew in Home Economics class and from the talents of my mother. It wasn't until I was married and expecting my first baby that I started to sew again. I pulled out my sewing machine that we received as a wedding gift and sewed baby blankets for my little. When my maternity leave was up, I wanted to stay at home with my daughter so I created Möbius Threads. It started as sewing a scarf for myself and then my parents asked me to sew scarves for my nieces and friend's daughter. It just grew from there.

I sew Möbius scarves, headbands and nursing scarves, an infinity with a twist. The twist is what makes my product unique. I use mostly cottons but have branched out into performance and bamboo fabrics to make my headbands purpose specific to athletics. I research a great deal to find unique one of a kind fabrics. My signature Möbius design involves comboing two different fabrics together for scarves. These are my creations and you can't get them anywhere else. I have products for men, women and children.

Why do you create?: I feel a sense of pride with my creations. I made that! It is totally true when you hear a Maker does a Happy Dance every time they make a sale. I am that Maker! I am beaming with excitement when I see someone wearing my products. I create because it makes me happy.

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?: Oh Wow! It has evolved a great deal over the last 5 years. One of my customers that have bought from me continuously through the 5 years could show you the evolution of Möbius Threads. I started off with double loop ladies scarves with just one fabric. As this was a popular product for winter but not so much for summer, I developed headbands so that I could make a go of this throughout the whole year. After awhile I attained a serger, started sewing on Möbius Threads woven tags and changed the technique for the finishing seam. I brought in New and different kinds of fabrics, I developed a couple New products like the Mother's Mobius and the His Mobius. I now offer headbands for children, moisture wicking headbands for adults, kids winter scarves, adult combo scarves with two fabrics, adult Deep Freeze scarves and recently coming out with children's fleece neck warmers. I have gone through a lot of trial and error on what products and fabrics work and don't work. I have had to learn a great balance between what I like and what my ideal customer likes.

How much time do you spend on your art practice? Is it enough? : As much as I can. I had my second baby two months ago so my time recently has been focussed on my son but I get a chance every now and then to get back to my sewing machine. Now seems to be my marketing and development time. I am still trying to balance my time between family and Möbius.

What is the most rewarding part of creating?: Randomly seeing customers wear my product. We were getting out flu shots this past fall and one of the nurses was wearing one of my scarves.

Do you have a creative philosophy?: My daughter keeps telling me that Mistakes are Awesome. Lol. I try keep that in mind. 
Creating unique one-of-a-kind combination scarves to help customers show their personality.

What does creative joy mean to you?: The excitement when I combo two fabrics together for a scarf that I would have never thought of originally.


FIND Möbius Threads:


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RED FOX CREATIVE STUDIO is a creativity & wellness centre located in Regina, SK.

MAKERS MONDAY: Melanie Mitchell Bath & Beauty by Melanie Mitchell

Hello, my name is Melanie Mitchell. I was born and raised in Miramichi, New Brunswick. In 2003, anxiety and depression led me on a desperate search to find myself and satisfy my creative personality. I studied for 5 years at the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design and graduated in 2008 with diplomas in Textiles/Surface Design and Fashion Design. Following graduation, I taught at NBCCD for 7 years in both the Textile and Fashion studios. To keep busy during the summers and weekends, in addition to teaching silk painting workshops, (and to be quite honest, supplement my lip balm addiction) I started experimenting with bath and beauty products. In 2015, when my husband’s job relocated us to Cold Lake, Alberta, the lack of textile and fashion jobs in that area lead me to expand on my bath and beauty business.  

Long story short, another relocation in 2017 brought me to the wonderful world of Regina and my serendipitous introduction to Red Fox Creative Studio. I am now blessed to indulge in BOTH of my passions: Textiles and Bath!

I have two creative outlets: creating colourful textures on silk with dye and making bath & beauty products. For Silk Painting I use cool marbles, stretchy elastics, hard wood, metal clamps and colourful dyes to create eye-pleasing pattens on smooth silk. For Bath & Beauty I use luscious oils, fine sugars, rich butters, enticing fragrance and essential oils to create luxurious products that pamper and soothe the body and mind. Though their mediums are very different, the final products from both are meant to indulge the senses.

Why do you create?: From an early age, thanks to a quilt made for my by my Grammie, I fell in love with texture as a means of self soothing. Silky fabrics, smooth rocks, warm sands, creamy custards, spicy cloves, tart limes and velvety lotions are all things that make me swoon. The things I create now all contain materials and ingredients that transform into products with textures that makes me feel good. *Fun fact: I still have that quilt! I've carried it around with me from city to city and lost and found it too many times to count. It's in scraps now, held together by an old school metal diaper pin!

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?: I used to try and do ALL THE THINGS! Everything I enjoyed making, I would add to my product line and sell at markets. It became too much and I realized that my business was certainly colourful but it really had no identity. So I came up with a philosophy and weeded out the items that didn’t fit. Not to say that I don’t still try new things, (just take a look at my studio and all the projects I WILL finish!) I just make them for myself now :-)

How much time do you spend on your art practice? Is it enough? : I am a wonderful dreamer and a terrible procrastinator. I can sit for hours being inspired by the internet and thinking up grand ideas that mostly stay in my head. But, as a wise instructor once told me, the mental research is just as important as the making!

What is the most rewarding part of creating?: I’m not going to lie, I love when my work is adored by other people... that throwback feeling of being a little girl and having my work hung on the fridge. But I also love to adore others and praise them for their accomplishments…that’s why I teach!

Do you have a creative philosophy?: Be unabashedly self-indulgent! I believe everyone deserves a little pampering and self indulgence in their lives and should not feel bad about it! Taking care of yourself first means that you can then be mentally free to take care of other important things in your life, wholeheartedly, without resentment.

FACILITATOR FRIDAY: Kristin MacPherson

Name: Kristin MacPherson

Business Name: Kristin MacPherson Studio

What medium do you work in? I work a bunch of media depending on my mood. These are my favourites; acrylic, encaustic, mixed media collage, photography. 

What do you make? I primarily create images of people. Acrylic and encaustic portraits and photography

What compels you to create? I feel an itch or restlessness that I have learned to recognize. It means I need to do something creative.

How did you start creating? My Mom and Dad always gave me the art supply tools I needed to create. My mom taught me to sew and knit. I have been surrounded by crafters and artists in my family. Everything from fibre arts to woodworking to oil painting. They created and I soaked it up. I idolized them.

Where is your studio is located ? Currently I have been concentrating on encaustics. I do that at my husbands shop in a room he has set aside for me. The other work, including photography, I create at Red Fox Creative Studio. That is not a plug….literally all my other supplies live at Red Fox now. :))

Why do you create? Creating artworks allows me to express my perception of the world. Like writing in a diary. It is a transference of my feelings into my art. It is a compulsion, I think.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? My camera. I use my photography in my collage work. I use it for reference photos. I use it for taking copy work images of my artworks for documentation and reproduction, and I use it to create images. I am sooooo happy that I learned photography. It has been an excellent supplement to my art practice.

What is unique about your art practice? I think the fact that I am actually trained as a photographer. I was trained to see and understand light. This skill has helped me create depth in my work.

Number of years you have been a crafter or artist: Since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I will tell you my age in person, but I am not typing it here :))

Describe your work with a movie title: the Skeleton Key

Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the studio speakers? Absolutely YES.  It is very eclectic.

What is the most interesting thing that happened to you recently? I was in Hawaii with my husband when the missile threat that turned out to be an accidental alert happened. That was interesting...

Favourite season and why? I love Summer. I can be at one of my favourite places Riverhurst which is 5 minutes from Diefenbaker Lake. ♥️

Favourite place? Riverhurst / Palliser Park. My Mom grew up there. I get to hang with all of my family. The internet is terrible so we live like 1985. Play games, sit around the fire and talk. It is the absolute best!! ♥️

What is your idea of time well spent ? Hanging with my hubbie, our 3 kids and our 2 dachshunds. If the weather is warm and we are sitting on the deck…I am in heaven.

Quirky fact… I am pretty quirky so this is hard to just pick one:)  I love to travel. I am not picky about where. I just like seeing new things. Want to go to Loon Lake, SK? Acme, AB? Miami, MB? Why yes…yes I do.

Photos!: Website:kristinmacpherson.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KristinMacphersonStudio/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristinmacphersonstudio/

The Making of A Unicorn Dream called Red Fox Creative Studio!

Kristin and Kayla Meet . . .


We met in Jan 2013 when Kayla came to work at the same place as me, Greg Huszar Visuals. We hit it off and became fast friends. We spent time together chatting over lunches, coffee and some wine ;). We have a lot of things in common. We both have a great sense of humour. We think we are hilarious.  We share a love of all things creative, including photography. Kayla likes to help people and create. I like to create and help people. There is way more, but you get the point…

We have personalities and skills that compliment each other. I am a tad unorganized …. Kayla is organized and she helps me stay on top of things. (Thank you, Kayla♥️!). I am great at coming up with ideas. Kayla is great at making a plan so stuff can actually happen. I am a photoshop whiz. She is excellent at social media. We both rock at photography.

The most important thing we have in common is this: Neither of us would have be brave enough to take this leap without the other. ☺️I know… You are probably all doing an eye roll right now 🙄 but is the truth. 

 Commercial Photography Assistants! We are smart AND tough. We get sh!t done. We carry heavy stuff. We do it well.

Commercial Photography Assistants!
We are smart AND tough. We get sh!t done. We carry heavy stuff. We do it well.

It Begins Slowly and Evolves . . .

In many work conversations we spoke about mindfulness in our lives and how creativity makes us feel good when the sh!t is hitting the fan. I missed teaching art and photography. Kayla missed using her social work degree. One of the big things we realized is that we both believed creativity is mindfulness.  

Wouldn't it be amazing if….

  • Everyone could be happier
  • We could share our knowledge and skills
  • Others could see the joy in the creative process. The process of creating NOT the outcome!
  • Everybody could feel gratitude for small happiness in their own lives
  • We could gather crafty people who love creativity to share their talents with others
  • We could create a community of artists, crafty creatives, makers and thinkers

Quotes... Literally…in all our conversations;

"This is really cool stuff. "

" What would that look like in a dream world where anything could happen? It might look like this….( Insert Dream Here)"

"This is a great dream! It will never happen, but it is really fun to pretend. "

We nicknamed it our "Unicorn Dream"

A Unicorn Dream . . . 

Kayla was out for a drive one day and stumbled across an old schoolhouse. We went to look at it. We thought that it would be the perfect place to start our dream. We thought if only we had a space to share our creative joy with others everything would fall into place. We set onto a journey of business plans, cash projections and the other, dull and boring, essential bits of turning a dream into a reality.

As you can probably guess the schoolhouse didn't work out, but all of the work for our Unicorn Dream was in motion. We were not willing to give it up. It seemed so tangible and real to us.

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We looked at many dark, dirty, falling apart lease options. Things were looking pretty grim. Everything we saw seemed too big, too small, but nothing was just right. Until I stumbled across an ad for a tiny little office building on Angus Street. I did a drive by at dusk and the light from the window was glowing. It seemed soo.. lovely.

I thought "How can this still be available?"

It was. We looked at the space and LOVED it.  A light, bright, beautiful little space and perfect for our needs. Serendipity.

Our offer was accepted and so this journey of ours began.

 

The Dream becomes Reality . . . 

It turns out unicorn dreams are a ton of work. What!?! Yes. You heard me right. A full on, TONNE of work! We have really pulled up our shirt sleeves and put on our big girl panties and committed to this adventure. Our hard work is paying off as we reach our One Year Anniversary. What an amazing ride!

You may have been with us from the beginning of this journey. You may have seen some of our growing pains. Maybe you were one of the people that called to give us feedback and tips for improvements. We appreciate how invested you are in us and our dreams. Now they are becoming your dreams. We are passionate about what we are doing in our community and in our "Unicorn Dream" business. We can not express how much it means to us that you have embraced this unicorn dream we have created.

With unending gratitude…

Thank you!

♥️ Kayla and I

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Vision boards & why they work

Do you know what you want out of life? Do you know what you need? Have you ever stopped to think deeply about these questions? If not, you may be missing out on an opportunity to know yourself better, to know what you want & need and make a plan. 

What are vision boards?
When put into action, vision boards can provide a road map to where you really want your life to go (and guess what, you're the only one who can get in the car and drive down the road). They are a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on specific life goals & intentions. Literally, a vision board is any sort of surface on which you express your deepest goals, who you want to be, what you want to do or things you'd like to acquire in your life. Vision Boards aren't something pretty you hanging our office, they are something you live. The goals and intentions you set have to be put into action to work, they don't just happen because you made a pretty thing.

Reasons why the process of creating your vision board works:

  • Taking the time to reflect, plan, strategize
  • Identifying your vision and giving it clarity
  • Getting you "un-stuck" from the daily grind, they can give you purpose
  • Creating & maintaining focus on your intentions
  • Connecting….lots of connecting, connecting with yourself and others.

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RED FOX CREATIVE STUDIO is a creativity & wellness centre located in Regina, SK. Are you interested in taking a class from us? See our Creative Menu.

MAKERS MONDAY: fresh. by jess by Jessica Kaiser

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Mom, wife, crafter, Zumba chick, wine lover, foodie .......... yep, a good mix!

Hi! My name is Jess (aka fresh. by jess!) and I am a wife, mother, papercrafter and business entrepreneur. I am a craft enthusiast! I love creating cards, scrapbook pages, home decor, 3D paper items, canvases and more. I'm just starting to dabble in sewing and want to learn how to quilt, knit & crochet too! Yes, I LOVE being CRAFTY! :)

I love to find new craft companies and (well, I hate to admit it) am a bit of a supply hoarder! I'm learning to use it up, not store it so I can make room for new products! I love to try new products and am always excited when the happy mail comes :) I'm learning how to use and manipulate digital images as well as new coloring mediums such as watercolor, paint, alcohol markers and pencil crayons. I enjoy teaching papercrafting classes and offer different types of classes during the year.

In my spare time, I love to decorate my home with mid-century modern flare, cook, bake, create recipes, sew and teach Zumba classes (primarily children's classes at the moment!)

Description of your products
Handmade greeting cards! I use paper, stamps, inks, mixed media......and tons of different types of embellishments! I also design scrapbook pages and wedding invitations. I don't "mass create" my cards. Each one is unique and one of a kind. I love to create rustic, simple wedding invites using hand stamping.

Why do you create?
I create primarily because I love it! It's a stress relief. I have always had an "artsy" side and I believe it helps keep you young at heart and mind! I love seeing how excited people are when they receive their orders or tell me they received one of my cards.

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?
O
h boy! It has evolved massively! I started off with a simple ink pad, rubber stamp set and paper. Hardly any embellishments or techniques. I love to learn and have gradually added more and more technique over the years. I have grown to incorporate many different medias, stamp types, paper types and more.

How much time do you spend on your art practice? Is it enough?
U
sually a couple hours each day - but I would love to be able to do it full time.

What is the most rewarding part of creating?
Seeing a vision you have in your mind come to life.

Do you have a creative philosophy?
Be yourself and don't compare yourself to others. Be proud of what you create.

What does creative joy mean to you?
Creative joy - expressing yourself through art. Smiling at a finished product and seeing the recipient love it in return.

MAKERS MONDAY: Work in Limbo by Rhea Leibel

I've always liked to draw, but in the past couple of years I found myself drifting further and further away from it. After having surgery in November of 2015, I found myself sitting around the house with nothing to do - so I grabbed some pen and paper and began moving my hands again. May 2017, I was inspired by a couple of speakers I had just heard at the Design Thinkers conference in Vancouver to start an Instagram feed featuring my doodles. With my background in graphic design, branding and typography, I've begun to morph the three of them together and now I've begun my first series of alphabet doodles.

Description of your products: 
Illustrations with pencil and ink; brush lettering; digital art; graphic design

Why do you create?
Since I was little, I've always had a strong urge to make things with my hands.

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?
It has. I'm now doing illustrations for clients.

How much time do you spend on your art practice? Is it enough?
Between my full time job as a graphic designer and kids, my time is limited. I try and practice at least 1-3 hours a week.

What is the most rewarding part of creating?
It's been rewarding coming out of my shell and showing the world what I've created. I don't like attention, but I find posting my work is pushing me to do more and hopefully inspire others.

Do you have a creative philosophy?
Doodle now, ask questions later.

What does creative joy mean to you?
I feel at ease if I let my hands do the thinking.

FACILITATOR FRIDAY: DONNA MACPHERSON

Donna MacPherson

 

What medium do you work in?

Fibre I really prefer natural fibres like silks, cottons, wool, cashmere, alpaca

What do you make?

I needle felt animals and funny gnomish style people and create panels that are basically painting with coloured wool and sometimes other fibres.I sew garments, quilts and other things that catch my fancy. I crochet, although not too much any more. I knit and have recently started to learn to knit lace.

What compels you to create?

I have to create to feel alive. I have a compelling need to have my hands occupied with beautiful and even not so beautiful things that I have created myself.

How did you start creating?

I can hardly remember. My mother knit beautifully and created cross stitch and embroidered pictures. My Granny sewed and had lots of patience to help me learn. I had a great teacher in high school that taught sewing techniques well. I remember babysitting on the weekends to make enough money to go to the fabric store to make myself a dress . I would stay up all night cutting and sewing and then wear the dress to school the next day. Yes, we HAD to wear dresses or skirts to school.

Where is your studio is located ?

I have a beautiful large room in the basement with a good size storage room off of it for my stash of fabrics and fibres.

Why do you create?

I have to. I feel unaccomplished if I can't. I love to try all kinds of creating. Some I continue to do and some I leave behind after I have tried it. I feel whole and satisfied when I can be creative. The process is as satisfying as the completion.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Needles, sewing needles, knitting needles, felting needles, big needles, little needles, fat needles, skinny needles. It is ridiculous to see the collection I have. There are old needles, new needles, my Mom's needles, some fancy kits of needles, needle holders that I have inherited, found, bought and made.

What is unique about your art practice?

One and a half years ago I encountered a needle felting kit, bought it and tried it out. I had never heard of needle felting up until then. I have since found that it is a very old practise but not many people do it.

Number of years you have been a crafter or artist
25+

Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the studio speakers?
Absolutely YES

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

I had my one year old great great niece here for brunch. She spied the whipped cream container and stuck out her hand so I squirted some cream on her hand. She kept licking it off and asking for more cream. I laughed and laughed. Lucky for me her Mom is pretty tolerant.

Favorite season and why?

I like summer because the weather here is the best. I can be outside either on my deck at home or my deck at the lake. I can felt, knit or paint in the outdoors.

Favorite place?

My deck, we had a huge covered one at the farm, a covered one at our home in the city and multiple decks at the lake. They all can shelter me from wind and rain so I can be outside in most mild weather.

What is your idea of time well spent ?

Time well spent. I love to spend time with people, especially children. I love seeing the world through their eyes. I love offering them tools such as art supplies and just seeing what they create.

At Red Fox you will find me teaching the following...

Needlefelting, Crochet, Embroidery

Quirky fact...

I think I am the quirky fact, kind of a crazy old lady. At least I hope so

Creativity quotes to live your life by

Alright, you survived the holidays. The kids are back to school. You are back into the life-routine. It's cold out. I invite you to take a moment. Take a breath. Breathe in these quotes and reflect on how the make you feel.

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“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.”
Brene Brown
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Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” 
Stella Adler
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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 
Scott Adams
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The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech.” 
Vincent Van Gogh
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"Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything... whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out."
Tina Turner
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"Creativity is straddling the tension, leaning into the discomfort, and finding your way through the dark” 
Brene Brown

Now that you've breathed in these quotes and let them touch your soul... How do you want to integrate creativity into your life? 

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MAKERS MONDAY: Precious Packages by Coral Wiebe

Hello! My Name is Coral and I started sewing and embroidering more full time about 5 years ago ... I love making personalized items and started when we couldn’t find the correct spelling of my sons name on any commercial products, it was always spelt differently:)

I create custom keepsake items, each item is truly unique. I design each one myself with customers input - we use minky fabric mostly so it’s soft for cuddling. Cubbies are another main product ... but all products I like are made to be soft and cuddly.

Why do you create?
I love to create because it gives each recipient something special that was handmade with them specifically in mind. Something they can cherish for years to come.

How has your art practice evolved since you first started?
Each project is new and exciting. I truly believe, you learn something new with each new product your business offers. I try to keep old products while offering new and fresh ideas as well.

How much time do you spend on your art practice? Is it enough?
I am now working full time with this business and we have recently expanded with another new embroidery machine.

What is the most rewarding part of creating?
I love getting customer pictures, with the keepsakes and smiles on their faces - that truly makes my heart full. It makes knowing what I am doing is, also making someone else happy.